The New York Daily News reports that a videotaped interview with the suspect, James Dixon, was played in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday (April 1). Dixon stands accused of killing Islan Nettles (see photo below), a transgender woman whom he initially showed interested in back in 2013.
In the interview, Dixon counters claims about gender confusion playing a role in his beatdown of Nettles. According to the 25-year-old, he simply “had some words” with Nettles and that he did not remember them until New York Police Department Detective Thaddeus Hall pressed him for the real story. Hall, who is now retired, insisted that Dixon’s version of what happened “didn’t make sense.”
“There’s something that leads up to the altercation … so what transpired?” Hall said in the video. “Did you try to holler at her?”
After a bit, Dixon finally confessed that “yes” he was trying to seduce Nettles until one of his friends called out to him, saying, “That’s a man!”
The statement struck a nerve with Dixon, who stated that days before the incident with Nettles, he had just been tricked by other women and had been “clowned” by his friends as a result. With his streak of unknowingly hitting on women who were born men, Dixon agreed that he felt his “manhood” was threatened.
“I just didn’t want to be fooled,” he said during the hour-long recording. Although he was evasive at time, the Daily News reports that Dixon spoke matter-of-factly regarding the incident.
At about 12:20 a.m. on Aug. 17, 2013, Dixon was eventually indicted for manslaughter and assault in the incident. Despite the indictment, the investigation was put on hold after investigators discovered that the original suspect in the case, Paris Wilson, was not to blame.
Nevertheless, Dixon voluntarily went to the precinct after he was confronted with knowledge that Wilson was the one taking the heat for what he had done. Turns out, Dixon fled the scene of the incident. As a result, Wilson was apprehended on an assault charge that was later dismissed.
Regarding what went through his head at the time of the incident, Dixon told police he experienced “blind fury” when he attacked Nettles. He goes on to state that he didn’t realize the damage he caused until hearing gossip in his neighborhood.
News of Dixon’s videotaped interview comes amid jury selection in his trial, which started Monday (April 4) as well as his recent rejection of a plea offer of 12 years behind bars in exchange for admitting he is guilty.
If convicted, Dixon faces up to 25 years in prison.